Tyron Smith has tools, tenacity, teachers

August, 13, 2012
8/13/12
10:00
AM ET
OXNARD, Calif. -- The Dallas Cowboys' training camp practice had been over for at least 25 minutes, maybe more, and left tackle Tyron Smith was still working on his footwork with offensive line coach Bill Callahan.

This is hardly an unusual occurrence.

Sometimes the individual sessions last a few minutes. Other times, like this one, they last considerably longer.

This is what's called paying the price to succeed in the NFL. All it costs is sweat, effort and tenacity.

Smith, taken with the ninth pick of the first round last season, starts his first preseason game at left tackle Monday night against the Oakland Raiders.

He's far from a finished product, but his performance against Oakland will provide us with some clue as to whether the lessons Callahan and pass-rusher extraordinaire DeMarcus Ware have been delivering before, during and after practice are taking hold.

Eventually, Smith will be among the NFL's best left tackles.

Read the entire column here.
Jean-Jacques Taylor joined ESPNDallas.com in August 2011. A native of Dallas, Taylor spent the past 20 years writing for The Dallas Morning News, where he covered high schools sports, the Texas Rangers and spent 11 seasons covering the Dallas Cowboys before becoming a general columnist in 2006.

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